When Minnesota Twins slugger Joe Mauer and his wife first heard they were having twins, the funny coincidence was not lost on them.
"Definitely we were very happy that we were pregnant," Mauer said in a recent phone interview with Big League Stew. "And when they said, 'There's two of them in there,' we just had to smile. It was a great moment for the both of us, but a few minutes later we were both like, 'Oh, I think everybody's going to have a lot of fun with this one.' It's a great moment and something I'll never forget."
Maren Virginia and Emily Teresa made their respective major league debuts at 3:35 a.m. Central time on Wednesday, the Pioneer Press reports, just a half-hour after their daddy reached his wife, Maddie Mauer, at a Twin Cities-area hospital. Born about five weeks before their reported due date, Maren and Emily weighed in at 4 pounds, 15 ounces apiece. But they are said to be doing fine, even if their father "didn't know what hit him."
Maren and Emily — the "M & Em Girls"!
Mauer's baseball team had to get creative in order to transport him from southern California — where they were playing the Los Angeles Angels — over to Minnesota late Tuesday night. And Twins manager Ron Gardenhire, via the P.P., said Mauer grew frustrated.
A mad scramble ensued with Gardenhire pulling Mauer off the field so he could find a flight back to the Twin Cities. Mike Herman, director of team travel, was unable to secure a commercial flight that Mauer could make on such short notice, so a private charter was lined up at LA/Ontario (Calif.) International Airport.
"Joe was champing at the bit here trying to get out once we found out for sure," Gardenhire said. "They were working every angle to try to find a plane to get him there."
Mauer grew frustrated at one point with the process, and Gardenhire tried to calm him down. The manager reminded Mauer his contemporaries "would have had to get a Greyhound bus" to make it back home in the '70s and early '80s.
"You'll get there," Gardenhire told Mauer. "She'll wait for you. I promise."
Hey, he was right. And the Twins got some good karma for their effort, with backup catcher Chris Herrmann having a big day in a Twins victory.
Back in Gardenhire's day, MLB didn't have paternity leave, and it would have been awkward at best had Mauer even asked for time off during the season. They probably wouldn't have let him go. But these are amazingly progressive times we live in.
Speaking of which, "Maren Mauer" is an awesome name, and you can't ever go wrong with Emily. The girls' middle names are for their respective grandmothers. You might know Teresa Mauer from commercials and billboards featuring her son.
She also saw to it that young Joe had monster bangs and Zubaz pants growing up in St. Paul.
"I still got that same pair of Zubaz at my old house," Mauer said. "Mom keeps everything."
His sideburns might have receded a little since his own rookie season, but Mauer is all grown up now. And a daddy.